Summer’s knocking on the door and with Cinco de Mayo celebrations planned, it’s a perfect time to revisit some of our favorite dishes for slow-cooked venison!
Tacos and burritos are fantastic ways to enjoy your venison. Whether you use ground venison with special herbs and spices or slow-cooked shoulders, necks and rump roasts, you’ll end up with a versatile dish everyone loves. Just lay out a spread of salsa, onions, peppers, lettuce, cheese and other fixins’ and turn the family loose.
Here are four of our favorites. Enjoy!
— Alan Clemons, Managing Editor
Venison Carne Asada Tacos
1-2 lbs venison, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp cumin
Chef Merito Steak & Meat or your favorite Carne Asada seasoning
1 white onion, sliced into rings
Sprinkle the carne asada seasoning and cumin evenly over both sides of the thinly sliced (or gently pounded) venison and pat it into the meat.* Throw all the meat into a large resealable plastic bag along with the sliced onion rings. Squeeze the juice of the lime and orange into the bag with the meat and onions.** Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible, and work it around to make sure the juice has a chance to marinate all the meat.*** Remove the meat and onions from the bag and put on a hot grill.**** Cook for two minutes or so on each side. After you remove the meat from the grill, chop with a cleaver into bite sized pieces or slice into strips. Quickly warm tortillas on the grill, and serve the meat with the grilled onions, chopped white onion, cilantro and a hit of lime juice.
* Dry the meat with paper towels or a towel first so the seasoning doesn’t run off
** Before cutting your lime and orange, roll it on a counter firmly but not too hard under your palm to help release the juice from the pulp. You’ll get more juice this way.
*** If you have more time, seal this with a Weston sealing bag system and let it marinate for a few hours for more intense flavors. You also could do this a day before and then remove the seasoned meat and onions from the fridge before cooking.
**** If your onion rings aren’t large enough to lay on the grill rack without falling through, use a vegetable basket to get them just right.
Clem’s Hit Th’ Door Breakfast Burritos
Venison sausage, or slow-cooked venison that has been pulled
Potatoes, diced or shredded
Shredded cheese, cheddar
1 onion, sliced into thin strips
1 bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 bag shredded lettuce
Jalapenos, seeded and sliced into thin strips
Pico de gallo or salsa
Fresh avacado, halved and sliced, or fresh guacamole
Salt and pepper, to taste
Hit The Door Version: Prep the sausage or slow-cooked venison the night before and toss it into the microwave or skillet for a quick warm-up. Ditto on the scrambled eggs and potatoes. I don’t care for refried beans, so I use the fresh guacamole as the binder. Spread some on the tortilla, then add the venison, eggs and whatever else is available. I like everything. If you want the onions and peppers sauteed, well, then you’ll have to get up earlier or do them the night before, too. I don’t mind if the onions and peppers are raw. Roll up the tortilla and maybe hit it again in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Wrap in tinfoil and hit the road.
Camp ‘n Coffee Version: This is for when you have time and can make everything hot on the spot. The slow-cooked pulled venison can be reheated, of course, after you make it with your smoker or in the oven (see Leysath’s highlighted recipe link above). If you’re using venison sausage that you ground and made yourself, heat it up in the skillet. I prefer link or patty sausage; the links fit the burrito and the patty can be formed or cut to fit. If you have a big group, lay out a spread of the onions, shredded lettuce, bell peppers, maybe some jalapenos, chopped cilantro, cheese, pico, guac and salsa. Fresher is better. To save time, buy pre-chopped onions, peppers and such at the grocery store. (Make this fresh, easy guacamole and you won’t buy store-bought again.)
For the hearty combo all-in-one deal, saute the peppers and onions and then add the potatoes. Mix the shredded cheese with the eggs in a bowl, stir around, and then put into a hot skillet (medium-high heat) with two pats of butter to scramble. About halfway through add the pepper-onion-tater mix. Stir, remove when the eggs are done and then let everyone combine the sausage, egg-cheese-tater/pepper combo and whatever other fresh fixings. Serve with warm tortillas. Or you can prepare and keep everything separate, in case someone doesn’t want something. Time is your friend so make the most of it. A hearty breakfast (or brunch) burrito is a good way to enjoy the morning.
Burritos (and tacos!) are just incredibly easy and versatile. This sounds like a lot of work but it’s really not. And everyone from Paw-Paw to Lil’ Jimmy can make what they want and eat it at the table, on the porch, in the tire swing or sitting in a box blind waiting on a big buck or doe. Remember, too, these are a great way to use all of your venison so don’t toss the neck and shoulders. Save them, clean them well, give them that slow-cooked love and then enjoy.
Shredded Venison Tacos
We ran across this super recipe for Shredded Venison Sandwiches from Ruth Setterlund of Freyburg, Maine, on the TasteofHome.com website. Dang, these sound great! And the super thing is that you can take this recipe and turn it into taco meat.
Shredded Venison Sandwiches
- 1 boneless venison roast (4 pounds)
- 1-1/2 cups ketchup
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke, optional
- 2 teaspoons celery salt
- 2 teaspoons pepper
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 drops hot pepper sauce
- 14 to 18 hamburger buns, split
- Cut venison roast in half; place in a 5-quart slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, lemon juice, soy sauce, liquid smoke if desired and seasonings. Pour over venison. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meat is tender.
- Remove roast; cool slightly. Shred meat with two forks; return to slow cooker and heat through. Using a slotted spoon, place meat mixture on bun bottoms. Replace tops.
Yields 14-18 servings; preparation 15 minutes; cooking time 8 hours.
Venison Enchiladas (Enchiladas … Tacos … whatever!)
2 lbs. venison hindquarter, pounded, and cut into 1- by 2-inch pieces
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 bell pepper, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cups homemade canned tomato sauce or 30 oz. can tomato sauce
2 cups water
3 cups Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup cilantro
1/4 cup jalapenos, chopped
8 6-inch corn tortillas *
1. Mix garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and salt in a small bowl.
2. Cut hindquarter into 2-inch pieces. Pound to1/4 inch thick. Cut into 1- by 2-inch pieces.
3. Dredge meat in spice mixture and shake off excess. In Dutch oven or large pot heat oil until smoking hot. Brown venison 30 seconds on each side. Transfer to cooling rack and set aside.
4. Reduce heat on same pot and add peppers and onions until golden. Stir in remaining chili powder cumin mixture and cook for about 1 minute. Add tomato sauce and water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Place in 13- x 9-inch casserole just enough sauce from the pot to cover bottom of casserole.
6. Return meat back to pot along with 2 cups of cheese, cilantro, and jalapenos.
7. Warm tortillas about 1 minute in microwave to make it pliable. Place approximately 1/3 cup of meat mixture down the middle of each tortilla. Wrap them and place them seam side down in casserole. Some may have to be placed down the side of the casserole. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining cheese over enchiladas and wrap with aluminum foil and place in 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese is slightly brown. Serve with rice.
Store the filling in airtight containers in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also store the tortillas separately from the filling by placing parchment paper between each tortilla and storing them in a zip top bag and freezing them. Place in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds.
Do you love to hunt and prepare your own venison?
If you do, visit ShopDeerHunting.com to see a wide range of items to hunt, process, prepare and enjoy your venison. You’ll find more great venison cookbooks, kitchen tools from Weston Products and more!